Pal: Gold Miners The Only Action In Town

Your Real Vision Daily Briefing for July 17, 2020

Raoul Pal & Ash Bennington reflect on weakness in the banking sector and the odd flatness that has characterized the market for the past month.

  • An odd flatness has characterized the market for the past month as markets hold steady and not much is moving.
  • The source of the stasis may be due to the Fed suppressing volatility.
  • Building a macro framework and size position for investing is about matching your idea horizon to your trade time horizon.

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When asked about what’s going on in markets during today’s Daily Briefing, Real Vision CEO Raoul Pal put it simply: “There’s nothing going on,” he said.

Pal said that overall, markets are holding steady. Some things have moved, like gold mining shares (up 34% YTD), banks (down 35% YTD), and energy (down 39% YTD).

“A simple ‘sell oil, buy gold’ yields you 70% returns this year,” Pal said. “It’s a weird world where nothings going anywhere but everything’s going somewhere. I’ve never seen anything like this. Gold miners are the only action in town for the time being.”

Pal discussed the source of the stasis, which he argued must have something to do with central banks suppressing volatility. He said there’s no other explanation for the flatness we’re seeing and there must be some sort of offsetting function that has effectively stopped everything.

“I don’t understand why things have stopped moving,” he said. “It feels like we’re going to get big moves, but which way? We’ll find out.”

Pal also discussed how traders and investors can build a macro framework and size position for investing. He said it is about matching your idea horizon to your trade time horizon and that people tend to look at bets in isolated terms when they should be looking at their whole portfolio.

For example, Pal said that people will decide to short the S&P one week based on a long-term pessimistic view, but a big picture view based on long-term economic data is not the key influencer of the week in the S&P. It is potentially the key influence over the next six months, but you’re only taking a view on what the S&P will do during that particular week. Considering time horizon helps people understand what they’re doing, the risk and rewards of their positions, and how to think about everything.

Short-term trading is a different perspective than building a macro portfolio and risk is a function of where you are, the structure of markets, and what your portfolio looks like, Pal said.